Sunday 4 October 2009

Curiosity and the prolongation of longing

The issues of prolongation, longing, curiosity, reductionism.. all the aspects which affect the individual's disposition towards learning.. are occupying my thoughts. I am curious about them. That means that I keep on thinking about these things. Each thought makes a difference to me that keeps the differences being made.

What about the uncurious? There are a lot of people who appear uncurious. But they're not really uncurious. I'm sure they are curious about sex and shopping at the very least! Indeed the fact that they are curious keeps the economy going.. Is their curiosity constrained by their social context? If you put them in a different social context (like Shaw's Pygmalion), will they start talking about particle physics or Nietzche? A constructivist view of the world would suggest that they might.

Is curiosity causal or are ideas causal? Curiosity certainly leads to behaviour (it kills cats for example). Ideas (reductions) channel curiosity and consequently channel behaviour. They can also be dangerous.

If my curiosity is just focused on sex and shopping, is my life any poorer than if my curiosity is on Nietzche, particle physics and Cardinal Newman (plus sex and shopping!)? What might 'poorer' mean?

These questions are leading somewhere I think. It ties into an argument for education as relating to human dignity. The question is however, who is to say what human dignity is, or what role education ought to play??

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